January 9, 2013

Police probing possible drug connection to Lebanon shooting

By David Hench dhench@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

LEBANON — State police are exploring the possibility of a connection between illegal drugs and Tuesday's shooting in Lebanon, and hope the victim can provide information about the attack that could help them find the gunman.

click image to enlarge

The scene of the shooting at 11 Second St. in Lebanon Tuesday, January 8, 2013.

John Ewing/Staff Photographer

Map: Second Street, Lebanon, Maine

Police are interviewing friends, associates and co-workers of Richard Potorski, 41, who was shot in his house at 11 Second St., to identify anyone who might have wanted to hurt him or break into his house, said state police Lt. Brian McDonough.

"He was pretty heavily sedated when we were speaking to him in the hospital," McDonough said Wednesday. "Hopefully in the next day or three, he will be able to provide some idea of what happened."

Potorski was being treated for a shoulder wound and is expected to survive, police said. He was taken by LifeFlight helicopter to Maine Medical Center's trauma center in Portland.

Police are relying on what Potorski told his wife after she found him shot in the bathroom of their small Cape Cod-style home. Potorski told her that he came home for lunch and was surprised by an intruder in the hallway of the house.

He told her that his attacker was white and wearing a camouflage cap.

Potorski's wife called the York County Sheriff's Office when she found him bleeding in the bathroom shortly after 1:30 p.m.

The attacker fled in Potorski's black Ford Explorer, which was dumped behind a business in nearby Rochester, N.H. Police hope security video from one of the nearby businesses might help them identify the attacker.

The sheriff's office started the investigation, but turned over jurisdiction to state police because if Potorski had died, it would have been a homicide and a state police case. McDonough said both agencies are treating the case seriously.

"This is a home invasion and attempted murder," he said.

Police still don't know whether the intruder brought the gun with him or if it belongs to the victim, McDonough said.

Police are exploring the possible connection to illegal drugs because most of the home invasions in the state have been drug-related, said state police spokesman Steve McCausland.

"We're trying to pinpoint whether there is any drug connection here," he said. "That may have been part of this violence."

According to the State Bureau of Identification, Potorski was sentenced in York County Superior Court in 2011 to 364 days in jail, with all but 60 days suspended, for misdemeanor drug trafficking.

 

Staff Writer David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:

dhench@pressherald.com

 

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